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13 Startling Lies by Sinners in the Bible

Updated on March 7, 2018
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ. | Source

Humans are not without flaws. The liars of the Bible serve as examples of those who are considered sinners in the eyes of the Catholic church and its ideal of religious perfection.

1. The Serpent Lies to Eve

He has been called Satan and he has been called the Devil, but no matter what terminology you use, he will always be "The Father of Lies."

Adam and Eve were in Eden, the garden of God. We know from scripture that they had a close relationship with God. God had also given them a commandment:

Genesis 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the lord God had made."

Satan asked a question that caused Eve to doubt the words she had heard from God. Her confusion is shown by the fact that she mentions to Adam that they weren’t even supposed to touch the tree, lest they should die. Satan went on to tell Eve that she would be "as a god" herself if she would do this.

Genesis 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

Interesting, isn’t this the same thing that got Satan kicked out of heaven? Verse six tells us she went ahead and ate the fruit, then gave some of it to Adam.

Eve and the serpent.
Eve and the serpent.

2. Abraham Lies to the Pharaoh

12:11 "And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt,
that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a
fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house."

3. Abraham Lies to Abimelech

In this scene, Abraham is called by God to leave his homeland of Haran. Abraham fears the Egyptians will kill him in order to have Sarai, so he to lies, telling the people that Sarai was his sister. Strife breaks out between the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot. One of the great lines of the Bible occurs in Genesis, when "Abrams" name is changed to "Abraham," and "Sarais" name is changed to "Sarah."

4. Sarah Lies to God

"Sarah denied it however, saying, 'I did not laugh;' for she was afraid."

In this scene, Sarah denies that she had laughed because she was afraid. Then Sarah denies saying, "I did not laugh." She denied saying "I did not laugh," thinking nobody could contradict her. She told this lie because she was afraid, but to conceal a lie from an all-seeing eye is impossible, and she was told to her shame, "Thou didst laugh."

5. Jacob Lies to Isaac

Genesis 27:19 "And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me."

Jacob lies to Issac.
Jacob lies to Issac.

6. Isaac Lies to Abimelech

When the men of that place asked about his wife, Isaac answered, "She is my sister." He was afraid to say "my wife," believing that the men of that place would kill him to get Rebekah, because she was such an attractive woman.

26:6-11 "And when he was questioned by the men of the place about his wife, he said, 'She is my sister;' fearing to say, 'She is my wife;' for, he said, the men of the place may put me to death on account of Rebekah; because she is very beautiful."

There is nothing in Isaac's denial of his wife to be imitated, nor even excused.

7. Sons of Jacob Lie to Jacob

Genesis 37:32 "And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, 'This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or not.'"

They took the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father, and said, "We have found this."

The coat of many colors.
The coat of many colors.

8. Laban Lies to Jacob

Upon Jacob's arrival in "the land of the people of the east," he encountered some
shepherds from Haran who knew Jacob's relatives there. Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son. She ran and told her father Jacob was in love with her and had asked to marry her. When the time came for the marriage, Laban resorted to a wedding night switch that resulted in Jacob marrying Rachel's older sister Leah (pronounced in Hebrew as lay-ah) instead.

"And in the morning, behold, it was Leah; and Jacob said to Laban, 'What is this you have done to me?' Laban said, 'It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born.'"

Jacob and Leah
Jacob and Leah

9. Potifar's Wife Lies to Him

Genesis 39:17 "Then she told him this story: 'That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me.'"

Joseph's mistress, having tried in vain to make him a guilty man, endeavored to be avenged on him: "You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness."

Potifar's wife.
Potifar's wife.

10. Rahab Lies to Jerico Men

Joshua 2:4 "But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them."

And she said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from." We are sure this was a good work; it is so spoken of by the apostle:

Jas 2:25 "And she did it by faith, such a faith as set her above the fear of man."

11. Saul Lies to David

And Saul said to David, "Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the lord's battles."

"And David said unto Saul, 'Who am I? And what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?'

But it came to pass at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.

And now Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.

And Saul said, 'I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.'

And Saul commanded his servants, saying, 'Commune with David secretly, and say, 'Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son-in-law.'

And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David.

And the servants of Saul told him, saying, 'On this manner spake David.'"

Saul and David.
Saul and David.

12. Michal Lies to Saul

"And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth."

13.Sapphira and Ananias Lie to Peter

A man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property.

"Then Peter said, 'Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?'"

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

Peter said to her, 'How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord?' At that moment she fell down at his feet and died."

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" Sermon by Jonathan Edwards

© 2009 Chesterton Wilde


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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      From article, "10. Rahab Lies to Jerico Men

      Joshua 2:4 But the woman had taken the two men

      and hidden them. But the woman had

      taken the two men and hidden them, and she

      said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not

      know where they were from. But the woman had

      already taken the two men inside and hidden

      them. We are sure this was a good work; it is

      so spoken of by the apostle, Jas 2:25; and she

      did it by faith, such a faith as set her above

      the fear of man."

      Help me out here. Joshua killed men, women, children and animals in Jericho based on his religious belief. Today if someone kills another based on their faith it is called Terrorism. The women, children and certainly animals were innocent.

      My faith says, You are wrong if you kill another human being. Did Joshua lie about being divinely inspired? Was Joshua's covenant with God a lie?

    • profile image

      Ken wolf 

      3 years ago

      Where can i buy the picture of eve and the serpant

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Just doing more research on this - as I agree, those who lied to Nazzis to save and hide the Jewish from death, Rehab who lied to hide to the Isrealite spies, both lied with good intentions and that can't be viewed as a Sin. Like all things I think God judges our hearts and not what it appears. What prompted me to search was after reading passage regarding Joseph. Majority of articles point to his brothers lieing, followed by a lesson on not to lie! However I was reading about Joseph himself lieing. He obviously knew his brothers but lied and accused that they were spies. Is this not baring false witness? Lol. But I haven't found anything about whether his fake accusation to ultimately scheme to have his own younger brother returned was favourable or unfavourable. - very interesting.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Lie is lie. It Is just the mercy of God that we enjoy.Romans 9:15

    • profile image

      KL Angora 

      4 years ago

      Many blessed people lied in Bible but most of them saved some ones or own life. Many out of the blessed line lied to trick the people its from devil of course and Devil is the father of lie because he spoke first lie on Earth to Eve. But despite of it, I say Lord dint say any one to speak lie. If they would have spoken truth and asked the Lord for their safety, He had saved them but some time we all are in hurry for good result like Moses did to get water.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      how can i heal my broken heart. my ex divorced me because she wanted to find a man with money. we were married for 33 years she says that she loves me but has never been in love with me. i feel hurt, i feel she gamed me.i know she is no good but god help me i still love her.

    • profile image

      Elder M. Graves 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this, Lord help us all!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think the commandment means we should love one another and not spread false lies or allow a falsity to stand against another. It does not mean you can't tell white lies to protect people's feelings or protect loved ones from truths they are not quite ready to hear. I don't think those brave souls that hid Jewish people from the Nazi's and lied to protect them are liars, nor do I think that a man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving family is a thief. We have to use our good common sense.

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image


      7 years ago from NewYork

      vote very informative lies, lies stasrted from the bibical times

    • profile image

      love my wife 

      8 years ago

      I find it interesting that lies were told even in biblical times. My wife continues to lie to me regarding her adulterous affair. I pray that one day she opens up to me so we can move forward. This will not change my love for her.

    • Chesterton Wilde profile imageAUTHOR

      Chesterton Wilde 

      8 years ago from Quebec

      Yap: not certain what you mean...could you explain?

    • profile image

      Yap HH 

      8 years ago

      I only see that human intelligence has been wiped off the map by the stupidity of the ancient con story.

    • Chesterton Wilde profile imageAUTHOR

      Chesterton Wilde 

      8 years ago from Quebec

      Pastor: thanks to you for comment!

    • Pastor_Walt profile image


      8 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

      Interesting Hub. Thanks. Thumbs up


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